By Lee Weyhrich
After several changes the Clay City Council on Monday approved the 2013-2014 budget.
Due largely to the increased sales tax, this year’s income is projected to be more than $3.15 million, up more than $1 million from last year.
While a few cuts have been made to smaller line items such as telephones and the cost of garbage service, by far the largest cut was to contract labor. The city now has enough employees that contract labor has been reduced by $150,000.
Almost all other budgetary areas will see an increase this year:
- Schools will receive $111,000, up from $2,500 last year.
- Law enforcement is up to $553,000, more than twice last year’s budget of $206,000. The city now has four contract deputies, as opposed to the one contract deputy the city had on hand last year. In addition, each deputy spends roughly $1,000 a month in gas.
- The council is budgeting a nearly $8,000 increase in printing costs, including business cards, forms, plaques, signs, uniforms and other printing.
- A $10,000 increase in legal, consulting and other professional fees.
- The construction, repair and maintenance budgets will increase by more than $188,000. A large portion of this money will go to improvements at Cosby Lake Park, including new bathrooms. The council has also had to take over the maintenance and repair of county roads due to budgetary issues at the county level.
- The council wishes to pave Old Springville Road from one city border to the other. Councilman Kevin Small has requested an additional $150,000 from the debt service fund to be placed into the road fund to help with incidentals such as barriers, guardrails and other unforeseen expenses.
There is one new item on the budget as well. The city is budgeting $10,000 for school travel. This money is being listed as an advertising expense to promote Clay by sending local students, such as the Clay-Chalkville Middle School band, on trips where they can be representatives of the city. These funds will be administrated by the Clay-Pinson Chamber of Commerce since the city can’t directly fund this type of expense.
Mayor Charles Webster said things are looking up for Clay financially.
“The city is in fair financial shape,” Webster said. “We still have some debt, but we’re paying it off.”